Dos Palos awarded victory on reversal

By Shawn Jansen / sjansen@mercedsunstar.comFebruary 7, 2013 

DOS PALOS -- Upon further review, the Dos Palos wrestling team picked up a huge win on Thursday afternoon.

After reviewing video of the match on Thursday, Central Section head of officials, Frank Kirby, ruled there was a scoring error made during Jan. 30's dual match between the Broncos and Firebaugh.

Instead of the original 30-29 win for the Eagles, the match should have been scored 29-29 with Dos Palos winning the tie-breaker on criteria.

Dos Palos head coach Frank Lemos received the news of the win just 15 minutes before Thursday's practice.

"I was on my way to the practice room," Lemos said. "When I told the kids they were just ecstatic. It was a very spirited practice."

The dual in Firebaugh was a matchup of two unbeaten teams in the West Sierra League. With their loss overturned, the Broncos head into next week's league tournament with a perfect 5-0 record.

The scoring error occurred in the 122-pound match between Firebaugh's Eric Coronado and the Broncos' Ozzie Suarez.

Coronado earned a takedown near the end of the match. The confusion happened when Coronado scored near-fall points seconds later.

"The official signaled two and three," Lemos said. "So the scorer credited him for a second takedown."

What should have been a 15-2, major-decision victory worth four points was scored as a 17-2 technical fall worth five points in the official scorebook, which was kept by Firebaugh.

Lemos unsuccessfully argued the score after the match. When he returned to Dos Palos on Wednesday night and reviewed his scorebook, Lemos called Firebaugh coach Bill Magneson to inform him of the error.

There were two matches left after the scoring mistake. Magneson contends if his final two wrestlers knew they were trailing 29-20 they would have wrestled differently.

Trailing 29-27 on the scoreboard heading into the final match, Firebaugh's Aaron Mora thought he needed just a decision in the 134-pound match to clinch the victory for his team.

"If we knew we needed a major, I'm certain my guy would have done what he needed to do to win the match," said Magneson, who is appealing the ruling to the section office. "I've been doing this for 28 years and I've never been involved in something like this."

With the two teams having the same number of matches won, pins, major decisions and no flagrant fouls, the tie-breaking criteria came down to most technical falls.

As it turns out, it was Dos Palos freshman Adrian Maruffo's 16-0 win over Eric Monriquez in the 115-pound match that proved to be the difference.

"There's a lot of rules and protocols in wrestling and some of those weren't followed," Magneson said. "I told the kids even if the appeal doesn't go our way the adversity can make them bitter or it can make them better. We'll get better no matter what happens."

The outcome will add fuel to the bitter rivalry between the schools that are separated by just 14 miles.

"It's as intense a rivalry as anything," Lemos said. "The Westside War (against Los Banos) doesn't hold a candle to this. That gym was packed. The verbal assault was going on all night. It was heated.

"I'm sure I'll be heated now even more after this. Thank God for video tape."

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